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Today's Headlines Energy Subsidies

  • Jokowi to Cut Fuel Subsidies; Government Sets Aside Social Funds

    Jokowi to Cut Fuel Subsidies; Government Sets Aside Social Funds

    Indonesian Finance Minister Chatib Basri stated that the Indonesian government plans to set aside a total of IDR 10 trillion (USD $837 million) in the state budgets of 2014 as well as 2015 to support the poor people of Indonesia through social safety programs. This is yet another indication that prices of subsidized fuels will be raised before the end of the year. Recently, it has been increasingly speculated that Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) will raise these prices by IDR 3,000 (USD $0.25) per liter.

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  • Budgetary Commission Proposes to Reduce Indonesia’s Energy Subsidies

    The Budgetary Committee of Indonesia’s parliament announced on Monday (22/09) that it proposes the government to spend 1.6 percent less on energy subsidies in 2015. Originally the government allocated IDR 363.5 trillion (USD $30.4 billion) for energy subsidies (which involves fuel and electricity subsidies) in 2015, up from IDR 350.3 trillion (USD $29.3 billion) in 2014. This would be good news for president-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo as he would imply have more fiscal room for his reform programs.

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  • Indonesia’s Fuel Subsidy Issue: Joko Widodo to Raise Fuel Prices in 2014?

    Indonesian newspaper Investor Daily reported in today’s edition (11/09) that Joko Widodo (who will become Indonesia’s 7th president on 20 October 2014) plans to raise prices of subsidized fuel in November or December 2014. Reportedly, the price of gasoline (premium) will be raised by IDR 1,000 (USD $0.08) to IDR 7,500 (USD $0.64) per liter and the price of diesel (solar) by IDR 1,000 as well to become IDR 6,500 (USD $0.55) per liter. Meanwhile Widodo will enhance the social safety net to protect the poor.

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  • Energy in Indonesia: Pertamina Raised Prices of 12 Kilogram LPG Canisters

    Fully state-owned energy company Pertamina announced that it has raised the selling price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by 23 percent in an effort to cut losses from subsidized gas sales. The company said that it incurred losses of IDR 2.5 to 3.0 trillion in the first half of 2014 as a result of 12 kilogram LPG canisters sales. These LPG sales are heavily subsidized as the government determines a fixed price, below the market value. However, the government does not reimburse this difference in selling price and market value.

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  • Bank Indonesia’s Monetary Policy Tight until Current Account Balance Improves

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) indicated that it will only loosen its monetary policy provided that the country’s current account deficit narrows to a level of 2.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which is considered sustainable, and inflation is kept within the range of 3.5 to 5.5 percent (year-on-year) in line with the central bank’s target range. The current account deficit is one of the main problems being faced by Southeast Asia’s largest economy today and causes concern among foreign and domestic investors.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Down 0.20% on Oil Concerns

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate had depreciated 0.20 percent to IDR 11,819 per US dollar by 15:30pm local Jakarta time based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index. This performance is in line with the performance of other emerging currencies in Asia, which all tend to weaken against today’s strengthening US dollar. One of the factors that pressures on the rupiah is the geopolitical tensions in Iraq which have resulted in a rising oil price (last week the oil price rose by 4.5 percent).

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  • Higher Electricity Price Will Have Limited Impact on Indonesian Inflation

    Indonesian Finance Minister Chatib Basri expects that the higher electricity tariffs which may be introduced per 1 July 2014 (for 400-950 watt capacity) will have a relatively small impact on the pace of inflation in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. “If introduced, the higher electricity price may add 0.1 or 0.2 percentage point to inflation. The limited impact of this price hike on Indonesian inflation means that the government will not revise its inflation target for 2014 yet,” Basri said. The Indonesian government targets an inflation growth rate of 5.3 to 5.5 percent.

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  • Growing Fuel and Electricity Subsidies Burden Indonesia's State Budget

    One of Indonesia's main fiscal problems is the ever increasing amount of public funds spent on energy subsidies (these include fuels and electricity subsidies). These subsidies aim to support the poorer segments of Indonesian society but several studies conclude that it are in fact the middle class and elite segments that benefit the most of these energy subsidies. Furthermore, by keeping energy prices artificially low, the government distorts the economy by creating a more-or-less 'false economy'.

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  • Indonesia Needs less Energy Subsidies, more Green Infrastructure Investment

    Indonesia Needs less Energy Subsidies and more Green Infrastructure Investment

    Indonesian vice president Boediono stated at the opening of the two-day Green Infrastructure Summit in Jakarta (29/04) that Indonesia's heavily subsidized energy prices might be the key reason why the country has failed to make its development policy more environment friendly. According to Boediono, a national consensus - involving the central and regional governments, businesses, lawmakers and other stakeholders - is needed to systematically curb Indonesia's large energy subsidies.

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Latest Columns Energy Subsidies

  • Indonesia's Energy Subsidy Spending Far Above Target in 2018

    Indonesia's Energy Subsidy Spending Far Above Target in 2018

    Ahead of the legislative and presidential elections (scheduled for April 2019) the Indonesian government is unwilling to impose impopular measures. One of the side-effects is that subsidy spending has gone beyond the target that was set in the 2018 State Budget. Lets take a closer look at spending on energy subsidies in Indonesia so far this year.

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  • Indonesia's Infrastructure Spending Below Average, How Come?

    Indonesia's Infrastructure Spending Below Average, How Come?

    If we take a look at Indonesia's central government spending in the first four months of 2018, then we detect something interesting. Overall, government spending has grown in the January-April 2018 period (compared to the same period one year earlier). However, growth in government spending is led by rising social assistance spending and rising subsidy spending. Meanwhile, growth of infrastructure spending has been much less robust. Does this mean that the Indonesian government has curtailed infrastructure development spending in order to relieve rising pressures on the budget deficit?

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  • Indonesia's Intervention in Fuel Prices Thwarts Private Investment

    Indonesia's Intervention in Fuel Prices Thwarts Private Investment

    There is concern that the Indonesian government's plan to curb price increases of (non-subsidized) fuels in Indonesia will impact negatively on private investors' enthusiasm to invest in Indonesia's oil and gas industry. Earlier this week Arcandra Tahar, Deputy Minister at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, informed that the government wants to regulate prices of fuels in order to keep inflation in check.

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  • Looking Back at 2017: Success & Failure of State Budget Targets

    Looking Back at 2017: Success & Failure of State Budget Targets

    Although realization of most components in Indonesia's state budget have improved in 2017, tax revenue realization and the management of energy subsidies remain the two big challenges for the Indonesian government. Southeast Asia's largest economy again failed to meet its tax revenue target last year. Per 31 December 2017 it collected IDR 1,151.5 trillion (approx. USD $85.3 billion) in tax revenue, only 89.74 percent of the target (excluding customs and excise).

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  • Inflation Indonesia: Administered Price Adjustments Form Challenge

    Inflation Indonesia: Administered Price Adjustments Form Challenge

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) said it carefully monitors the impact of higher electricity tariffs on the nation's inflation pace in March 2017. This month the government implemented the second phase of its gradual electricity tariff increase program for 900-VA household customers. Indonesia's state-owned electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) decided to raise the electricity price for 900-VA households three times this year in order to cut energy subsidies and ensure that these subsidies are indeed channeled to the right people.

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  • What are Joko Widodo's Economic & Social Development Targets?

    Last week, Indonesian President Joko Widodo introduced higher subsidized fuel prices in Southeast Asia’s largest economy in a bid to shift generous public spending from fuel consumption to productive and structural economic and social development. Prices of subsidized low-octane gasoline (premium) and diesel (solar) were raised by over 30 percent, or IDR 2,000 (USD $0.17) per liter, starting from 00:00 on Tuesday (18/11). Widodo aims to reallocate these funds to infrastructure, social welfare and the maritime sector.

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  • Performance of Indonesian Stocks Depends on Subsidized Fuel Policy

    Performance of Indonesian Stocks Depends on Subsidized Fuel Policy

    Indonesia’s fuel subsidy policy is estimated to have a large influence on investors’ confidence in the financial or fiscal fundamentals of Southeast Asia’s largest economy and thus on the performance of the local stock index and currency. New president elect Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) is expected to raise prices of subsidized fuels after taking office in late October 2014 in an attempt to combat the country’s wide current account deficit (mainly caused by expensive oil imports to meet domestic fuel demand).

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  • Bank Indonesia: Current Account Deficit Eases Slightly in 2014

    Bank Indonesia: Current Account Deficit Eases Slightly in 2014

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects that the country’s current account deficit will only ease slightly in 2014. Last year, the deficit reached 3.3 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP), a level which is generally considered unsustainable and leads to reduced investor confidence. Countries that have to cope with a wide current account deficit, such as Indonesia and India, are highly vulnerable in times of global shocks as investors will quickly withdraw their investments from assets in these countries.

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  • Economic Challenges Indonesia: Jokowi to Raise Fuel Prices Soon?

    Speculation has emerged that Indonesian President-elect Joko Widodo (Jokowi) plans to raise prices of subsidized fuels immediately after taking office in late October 2014. On Tuesday (02 /09), Jokowi said that he sees no other option than to raise these prices in an effort to relieve the budget deficit, curb the wide current account deficit and make more funds available for long-term productive public investments (such as on infrastructure, healthcare and education). The government has set aside IDR 291.1 trillion (USD $25 billion) for fuel subsidies in 2015.

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  • SBY Declines but Joko Widodo Set to Curb Indonesia’s Fuel Subsidies

    SBY Declines but Joko Widodo Determined to Curb Indonesia’s Fuel Subsidies

    In the past days, Indonesia’s fuel subsidy policy has been in the spotlight of Indonesian media continuously. When it was reported that incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and newly elected president Joko Widodo would meet on the island of Bali this week to discuss various transitional matters, speculation emerged that the country’s generous fuel subsidies, which seriously burden the government’s budget as well as current account, might be wound down before the new government is inaugurated in October 2014.

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